The 69-year-old former Beatle's storied musical career and humanitarian work will be recognized at a Feb. 10 gala.
The announcement was made by Neil Portnow, president and chief executive officer of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy, and Scott Pascucci, chairman of the MusiCares Foundation Board.
Proceeds from the dinner and concert, which is to be held in Los Angeles two days prior to the 54th annual Grammy Awards presentation, will benefit the foundation.
MusiCares was created to ensure people in the music industry have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.
"Paul McCartney exemplifies the phrase 'artist/philanthropist,' and his extraordinary career is certainly a testament to the multifaceted power of his creative genius," Portnow said in a statement. "The unique talent, dedication, and spontaneity he brings to his projects and live performances are unsurpassed, but are equaled by the impressive generosity and commitment he consistently devotes to a range of important charitable causes."
"Paul immediately brings to mind artistic excellence and passion for causes that are dear to him," added Pascucci. "It is very inspiring that one of music's true icons makes philanthropy such a force in his life."
"I've been given a great gift -- a life making music -- and it's my privilege to try to make the world a better place by giving back," said McCartney. "For more than 20 years, MusiCares has helped so many music people in times of crisis -- whether with emergency financial assistance or access to addiction recovery resources -- and it is an honor to be recognized as the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year."